B2B is a great San Francisco tradition. As recently as 2004, the neighbors along the route looked forward to and often participated in the event. However, in the last few years, B2B’s impact on the host neighborhoods has been significant.
Neighbors have had to deal with urination on their homes, mounds of trash and outright bullying. Last year, Hayes street between Divisadero and Stanyan, became a parallel event with participates disrespecting and destroying both public and private property. I think we can agree this type of behavior is not desirable and not in the spirit of Bay to Breakers.
After last year’s B2B, nine neighborhood groups along the route (from Hayes Valley to Inner Park Sunset) formed the Neighborhood Task Force on the 100th Bay to Breakers. Working with AEG, city officials, and SFPD, the task forces aim was to address past planning and resource deficiencies, improve participant behavior, and hopefully help preserve the event we used to enjoy hosting. I believe we have succeeded on the resource and planning front. Here are some of the changes:
A 30% increase in bathroom capacity including over 30 six-man urinals in and around Alamo Square and the Panhandle
Bathrooms on both sides of the course
Clean up crews presence during the entire event and well after
Strategic placement of barriers and fencing
Our efforts these past months have not been to sterilize Bay to Breakers, rather to make it fun for everyone. So have fun, but in so doing, please be respectful of the host neighborhoods. If that happens, I’m confident we can preserve B2B for years to come.
Jarie Bolander, President of NOPNA and spokesmen for the task force